Panasonic has introduced the Toughpad line of rugged Android tablets for mission-critical, mobile users such as police officers with an app-store ecosystem, peripherals, developer tools, and deployment support.
Panasonic will initially offer the 10-inch Toughpad A1 for mobile outdoor workers "where exposure to extreme environments is a constant challenge and the consequence of a failure is significant," according to the company. The 7-inch Toughpad B1 targets similar users who prefer portability over screen real estate.
"We have the unique ability to apply our market knowledge, intellectual property, engineering, and R&D resources to deliver an Android-powered tablet that is radically different from the largely consumer-based devices on the market today," said Rance M. Poehler, president of Panasonic Solutions Company. "Our customers will get the most rugged, reliable, and enterprise-appropriate tablets in the world, helping to drive efficiency and productivity in ways that were never possible."
Mobile computing for law enforcement requires an enhanced level of device security. The Toughpad A1 incorporates security embedded at the hardware level and offers technologies such as hardware and software encryption, enhanced VPN, dual-factor authentication, trusted boot and device management. The Toughpad A1 will be compliant with FIPS 140-2 for federal government use.
The Toughpad family can be managed with a custom set of low-level controls that provide IT administrators with unprecedented power over their Android-powered devices. This level of mobile device management is essential for successfully deploying and managing Android-powered tablets in the field. These controls allow IT managers to distribute applications and secure devices from unauthorized use.
The Toughpad will be supported by the Business AppPortal, an enterprise-focused app store offering market-specific applications addressing broad enterprise concerns, including Mobile Device Management, security, and virtualization.
This secure, cloud-based user storefront allows IT managers and developers to store, download, and test applications for use on their Toughpad devices. Panasonic will also offer private application stores within the Business AppPortal, which businesses can customize to meet their specific needs.
The Toughpad A1 has a high brightness, 10.1-inch XGA capacitive, multi-touch, daylight-viewable screen so mobile workers can easily see critical data and operate the device regardless of lighting conditions.
The Toughpad A1 offers a stylus and active digitizer, as well as signature capture and handwriting recognition functionalities. Other features include integrated cameras, a serviceable battery, multiple options for peripheral connectivity, and battery life that will accommodate a full day of work.
The new Toughpad family is designed to meet many of the same durability standards as Panasonic's Toughbook PC product line. The devices have MIL-STD-810G ratings for drops as well as ingress protection ratings for resistance to dust and water. The Toughpad A1 is also rated for use in a wide range of temperatures. This elevated level of durability results in tablets that deliver reliability in almost any environment, assuring maximum mobile worker productivity.
The Toughpad A1 offers optional 4G (LTE or WiMAX) mobile broadband as well as Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and satellite GPS.
The Toughpad A1 will be available in the spring starting at $1,299. The Toughpad B1 will be released later in 2012. The Toughpad line comes with a three-year warranty.
Panasonic will offer a full set of professional-grade accessories to support the Toughpad line, including cases, mounts, printers, keyboards, magnetic stripe readers, Smart Card Readers, and multi-unit storage and charging solutions.